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\Studyworld\ Studyworld Studynotes \ Doll's House, A:
Act 3, Part 1

The following evening.

Mrs. Linde sits at a table downstairs in the Helmer home. Dance music can be heard upstairs. Krogstad enters the house. He has come to meet her, as her note asked him to do. He asks what she wants to talk to him about. She says that they have much to talk about and that he has never really understood her. He replies that all there is to understand is that she is a heartless woman who jilted him in favor of a man with better financial prospects. Mrs. Linde defends her actions of long ago, saying it had been necessary to break with him and marry the other man because her first duty had been to provide for her sick mother and two young brothers. Krogstad responds, more gently now, "When I lost you it was as if all the solid ground went from under my feet. Look at me now�I am a shipwrecked man clinging to a bit of wreckage." Mrs. Linde replies that she is like a shipwrecked woman, and she proposes that they "join forces." She confesses that what brought her to town was the idea that they might come together at last. She says that work has been her only pleasure in life. But now she has no one to work for, and her life is lonely and empty. She asks Krogstad to give her "someone and something to work for." She knows about his past, but she has faith in his "real character." Krogstad grasps her hands: "Thanks, thanks, Christine! Now I shall find a way to clear myself in the eyes of the world." Just then, Mrs. Linde hears the music for the tarantella beginning. She tells Krogstad he must go, since the Helmers will be coming down when the dance is over. He remembers his letter to Helmer, and suddenly asks her if she has proposed to him merely to save Nora. She assures him that is not the reason. To prove how he has changed, he pledges that he will go to Helmer and ask for the letter back. But then, unexpectedly, Mrs. Linde tells him to leave the letter alone. She explains that in the short time she has spent in this house, she has "witnessed incredible things." She now believes that "This unhappy secret must be disclosed; they must have a complete understanding between them, which is impossible with all this concealment and falsehood going on." They hear the tarantella ending, and Krogstad leaves before the Helmers come down. As Mrs. Linde prepares to go also, she talks to herself: "What a difference! What a difference! Someone to work for and care for�a home to bring comfort into. That I will do indeed." Then the Helmers appear. It seems that Helmer has brought Nora "almost by force" downstairs. Nora struggles with him, begging him desperately to let her go back upstairs. She is in a state. Mrs. Linde pretends she has come to see Nora in her dress. Helmer shows off his wife like a doll: "Yes, take a good look at her. I think she is worth looking at. Isn't she charming...?" He remarks she is pretty, but strong-willed. Her dance was a great success, he continues, and that is why he made her leave straight-away, so as not to spoil the effect. When he goes to light the candles, Mrs. Linde urges Nora to tell her husband everything. Helmer returns. Mrs. Linde gathers her things to go. Helmer hands her knitting, then lectures her pompously about how embroidery is much more becoming than knitting, which "can never be anything but ungraceful." After she has left, Helmer tells Nora, "She is a frightful bore, that woman." Nora and Helmer are finally alone. Helmer calls her his "fascinating, charming little darling," and tries to get near her. She bolts. He thinks she is playing hard to get. He begins to tell her of a fantasy he indulges whenever they are at a party: He pretends that she is his shy young virgin bride and that he will be taking her home to bed for the first time. He has longed for her all evening, he says: "When I watched the seductive figures of the tarantella, my blood was on fire; I could endure it no longer, and that was why I brought you down so early." Nora tries to flee him. He wonders at her behavior. "Am I not your husband?"

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Historical Context
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Act 1, Part 1
Act 1, Part 2
Act 2, Part 1
Act 2, Part 2
Act 3, Part 1
Act 3, Part 2
Act 3, Part 3


 

 



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